What’s the Difference between Teppanyaki and Hibachi?
Here at Kobe Steakhouse, we strive to provide our customers an exceptional dining experience, whether you are just stopping by for take-out sushi, or joining us for an exciting dinner show experience. We understand the restaurant business uses a lot of Japanese terms that may be unfamiliar to many of our customers. Read on to learn more about Japanese cooking styles and one of our most popular dining options.
Teppanyaki and Hibachi – Translating Japanese Cuisine for a Global Audience
What are teppanyaki and hibachi? What’s the difference between them, and why is there confusion over the usage of the terms? Teppanyaki and hibachi both refer to Japanese cooking styles that use a grill or griddle. To add to the confusion, teppanyaki style performance cooking restaurants have often been labeled “hibachi grills” in the United States. So what’s the difference?
The literal translation of hibachi is “fire bowl.” Hibachi refers to a small charcoal stove, traditionally used in Japan for heating or cooking. (In Japanese, hibachi used for cooking are more specifically referred to as “shichirin,” but as this seemed difficult for non-Japanese to pronounce, most Japanese restaurants in the United States stuck with the more general term “hibachi.”) In modern culinary usage, hibachi are usually small portable stoves with an open grill cooking surface used to cook Japanese dishes indoors. They can be made of aluminum, cast-iron, or ceramics, and are most commonly heated with charcoal, though sometimes electricity is used. Charcoal hibachi stoves are often used with tongs called “hibashi”—fire chopsticks—to handle the hot charcoal pieces. Typically, hibachi are sized for small servings, such as a single course of a larger meal or for food just a few people.
Translated literally, “broiled on an iron grill,” teppanyaki is typically a large, flat-surface, stainless steel griddle, used to prepare meals in front of diners in a restaurant. Teppanyaki are usually powered with gas, to provide even, controllable heating. The solid surface allows for the inclusion of ingredients that would not be suitable for an open grill, such as noodles, rice, minced vegetables, and eggs. From its creation in Japan in the 1940s, introduction to the United States in the 1960s, through today, teppanyaki dining has included both fusion-style cooking and performance aspects—allowing for creative expression in both the food itself and in its preparation. Groups of customers sit around a large flat-top grill where an expert chef prepares a meal with both showmanship and culinary skills. Meals usually include one or more meat or seafood courses, accompanied by vegetables and noodles or rice, and sometimes served with sauces. Intricate knife skills, open flame, and airborne ingredients may all be on display as part of the experience.
Teppanyaki at Kobe Steakhouse
At Kobe Steakhouse, our expertly trained chefs use the teppanyaki griddle to prepare both a visual and culinary feast for our diners, expertly manipulating fresh, high-quality ingredients and showing off their knife skills in an exciting performance. Choose from ten meat, seafood, and vegetarian entrees, such as USDA-certified filet mignon, wild-caught lobster, grilled seasonal mixed vegetables, all-natural teriyaki chicken, or sustainable raised salmon. We pair the main course with Japanese clear onion soup, crisp green salad, seasonal vegetables, grilled noodles, and fried rice, accompanied by Kobe’s famous dipping sauces. We also offer pre-set banquet menus for parties of 21 or more. With all of these choices, you’re sure to find the perfect option for everyone in your party. A teppanyaki meal at Kobe Steakhouse is perfect for a special event or family night out.